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MINSK

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Overview

Minsk

Minsk (Мiнск) will almost certainly surprise you. The capital of Belarus is, contrary to its dreary reputation, a progressive, modern and clean place. Fashionable cafes, impressive restaurants and crowded nightclubs vie for your attention, while sushi bars and art galleries have taken up residence in a city centre once totally remodelled to the tastes of Stalin. Despite the strong police presence and obedient citizenry, Minsk is a thoroughly pleasant place that’s easy to become fond of.

Food Must Try

Zhurek

Very interesting and unusual soup, which has its history since the time of Monomakh. One of the few Belarusian dishes where there is no potato in the recipe.
The secret of the unique taste of soup in its leaven, prepared from oats and black bread. The leaven should be placed in a warm place for 2-3 days. Then the leaven is filtered and mixed with fatty meat, vegetables and garlic, after which it languishes on fire. Having tried this unique soup, you would definitely want to cook it yourself, even if you do not like cooking.

KLETSKI

Kletski are jokingly called Belarusian fast food, and all thanks to their unconditional popularity and simplicity of cooking.
Traditional kletski are flour balls, quickly boiled in boiling water, or, optionally, in milk. Over time, the balls began to add meat filling or even use kletski to make soups, but their taste from this only wins. This dish is popular not only in Belarus, but also in many countries of Eastern Europe.

Kletski can be served as an independent dish with sour cream and fried onions, or you can add a little toasted chicken and complement the dish with fresh herbs from the garden. Tasty!

TUKMACHI

The business card of Kobrin is tukmachi. Something similar can be found on the territory of the whole country, but only in Kobrin tukmachi is cooked according to an old recipe.
Behind the rank-and-file name lies the usual potato casserole, but not everything is so simple. The main feature of tukmachis is onions, pre-fried in fresh fat, which is then added to the casserole during or after cooking. This unobtrusive detail gives the dish a special rustic taste. Tukmachi is served with salted curd and fresh milk. To cook tukmachi enough fry onions, and then in the same pan, evenly bake boiled crushed potatoes (preferably in the oven or on the grill).

Excursions

Museum of Folk Architecture & Rural Lifestyle

Several dozen traditional wood houses, a school, a church and an old windmill have been transplanted to this open-air folk museum in Azyartso, 15km southwest of central Minsk. While not as developed as the similarly themed Dudutki museum nearby, this is a more authentic experience and a must for 19th-century rural-architecture buffs.
Enjoy the rich scent of pinewood in the houses and the ripe smell of loam in the work sheds as you take in the complex, which is peppered with maple and apple trees. Festivals such as Kupalle (summer solstice festival) are a good time to visit, as the museum stays open late for dancing, singing and merrymaking. A 100-year-old tavern serves lunch. To get here take a Dubyantsy-bound bus from the Southwest Bus Station (BR0.60, every 90 minutes). Ask your driver to let you off at the Azyartso (Ozertso) ‘muzey’ (museum).

Trinity Hill

Trinity Hill is a pleasant – if tiny – re-creation of Minsk’s pre-war buildings on a pretty bend of the river just a little north of the centre. It has a few little cafes, restaurants and shops, and a walking bridge leads over to the Island of Courage & Sorrow, an evocative Afghan war memorial known colloquially as the Island of Tears by locals.

Island of Courage and Sorrow

Standing on a small island connected to the Old Town by a walking bridge, this evocative Afghan war memorial is known colloquially as the Island of Tears by locals.
Built in the form of a tiny church with four entrances, the monument is surrounded by towering gaunt statues of the sorrowful mothers and sisters of Belarusian soldiers who perished in the war between the Soviet Union and Afghanistan (1979–89).

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